5 potential Vikings 2020 NFL Draft targets to know

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jordan Love
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jordan Love /
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(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Javon Kinlaw
(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Javon Kinlaw /

Javon Kinlaw – DT (South Carolina)

The Vikings’ defensive line has been solid up the middle this season, but they could still use some help for the future.

After losing Sheldon Richardson to free agency during this past offseason, Minnesota brought in a familiar face in Shamar Stephen, who has been an average defender on the interior line for most of his pro career. Pairing a guy like Javon Kinlaw on the inside with Linval Joseph would be a huge upgrade for the Vikings in 2020.

Kinlaw spent his freshman year at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi. He was named a second-team All-America and first-team All-Region 23. His sophomore year is when he transferred to South Carolina and dropped 40-pounds.

He saw action in 13 games and started in 10 of them. During his junior season in 2018 is where he really broke out. He was the best defensive lineman on the team and shared the Joe Morrison Award that goes to the MVP of South Carolina’s defense. In 2018, Kinlaw had 38 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, and led the team in sacks with 4.5.

Kinlaw is a beast of a human. His 305 pounds look lean when combined with his height (6-foot-5), but his shoulders are very broad and his frame is wide. His pure power is matched with tremendous athleticism. He has a really quick first step that allows him to get into the gap of the offensive linemen.

He can collapse the pocket with a very good bull rush, but he can also use good technique with his hands to shed opposing blockers away. There are a lot of times when an opposing running back hits the hole on the opposite side of him and he’s able to disengage from his blocker and get in pursuit to take down the ball carrier. Kinlaw is going to make for a great B-gap type of interior defensive linemen at the next level.

We all know how good the depth is on the edges of the Vikings’ defensive line. What’s worrisome though is the production Minnesota has received from their interior defensive linemen and the lack depth that they have at the position.

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Kinlaw would be an immediate presence on the Vikings’ disruptive defense and he has the potential of being a Day 1 starter on this team.